Sociology

18 posts

Collapse: How Nations Choose to Fail or Succeed by Jared Diamond


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By the time the first Europeans visited Easter in 1722, the Island was nearly uninhabited, virtually barren except for the statues, and plagued by such a history of violence and cannibalism that in Island oral traditions, the most hostile insult a person could make was: “The flesh of your mother sticks between my teeth.”

An Interview With Author Mary Roach


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“Helen Duncan is my favorite. Huge, chain-smoking woman who used to swoon and occasionally pee herself in the frenzy of spirit possession. Helen had the scientists stumped. She’d produce ectoplasm … even though the researchers had frisked her and done a cavity search prior to her entering the séance chamber. Turned out she was a talented regurgitator.”

Archival Culture(s)


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It is scarcely news that in a vast, pluralistic country like the United States, minorities should feel themselves threatened with absorption into the larger society, and that they should cling to some form of cultural identity. It begins poignantly when school children pledge allegiance to “ … one nation, indivisible, […]

Life, Death and Hip-Hop


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Within Hip-Hop we discover the struggle of the artist to make sense of their unjust world and to find the balance between their desires (and everyday survival) and the morality of their actions to fulfill these desires.

Roses & Bulbul Birds


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What’s intriguing about the dreadful psychology of Muslim, particularly Shiite [read Hizbollah] fundamentalism, is that aspect of terrible fixity, that manifests itself as a kind of violent sleepwalking in its adherents.

Antiviral (2012) - written and directed by Brandon Cronenberg

Trailer Watch: Brandon Cronenberg’s Antiviral


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Cronenberg’s target is the cult of celebrity. As ravenously as we seek to expose and share the intimate lives of the world’s luminaries, is it so far-fetched that we might want to contract their diseases?

Battle Royale: The Complete Collection on Blu-Ray

Blu-Ray Review – Battle Royale: The Complete Collection


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Quentin Tarantino proclaims ”My favorite movie of the last 20 years! I wish I had made this movie.” That is as perfect an endorsement as a film distributor could hope to have, especially when selling a film like Battle Royale to a hungry cult audience.

Yes Academy, We Do Need To Talk About Kevin


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This film will upset you. This film will follow you home and haunt you. This film takes courage to face. You will not forget We Need To Talk About Kevin.

Book Review: The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined by Steven Pinker


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In this profound and spirited work, Pinker champions the civilizing process that, according to his detailed research, has enhanced the cause of peace, decreased the scale of violence and enabled peoples of widely separated nations and ethnic groups to realize their common humanity. Using a mass of scientific data and an intensive reading of history and current events, Pinker makes the case that Planet Earth is becoming a more Peaceable Kingdom.

Book Review: Chavs: The Demonization of the Working Class by Owen Jones


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But wherever it originated, the word conjures up an instant picture of young people in cheap sportswear, swigging alcopops, brandishing knives and selling each other drugs whilst getting their fifteen-year-old girlfriends pregnant. They are a favourite subject for the right-wing tabloids, and where the term “chav” is found, the words “feral”, “benefits” and “underclass” will often be somewhere in the vicinity, not to mention “lifestyles funded by your taxes!”

Book Review: Fun Inc.: Why Gaming Will Dominate the Twenty-First Century by Tom Chatfield


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One element of the gaming industry that will surprise some readers is the billions of dollars made by “gold farmers,” people who play online games such as World of Warcraft, and then sell the loot acquired in the game for real-world dollars to other gamers. China alone is estimated to have over a million of these gold farmer players working right now.

Book Review: Voodoo Histories: The Role of the Conspiracy Theory in Shaping Modern History by David Aaronovitch


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Voodoo Histories isn’t an attempt to tell everyone to chill out and stop worrying about what people in authority are up to. Rather, it attempts the trickier task of explaining why a set of conspiracy theories do not hold water on close examination, and accounting for how they differ from traditional historical explanations – what is specifically “conspiracist” about them.

Hos, Hookers, Call Girls, and Rent Boys: Professionals Writing on Life, Love, Money, and Sex


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And those names: JenniferBlowdryer, Sinnamon Love. Sebastian Horsely, a male prostitute, of course. Horsely advocates the trade as follows; “The difference between sex for money and sex for free is that sex money always costs less.”

School Rampage Killers: A Psychological Portrait


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The shooter had convinced himself that killing was gutsy and masculine. Based on his misreadings of Nietzsche and from repeated viewings of the Oliver Stone film, Natural Born Killers, he had convinced himself that the killer was a kind of superior being, and that killing constituted a form of “Natural Selection.”